To give Cruiserweight Champion Buddy Murphy the challenge he craves, he’ll face THREE superstars at the Royal Rumble! Who earns the first two spots tonight?
- Lio Rush VS Kalisto w/ Lucha House Party; Kalisto wins and advances to the Royal Rumble Cruiserweight Championship Fatal 4 Way.
- Drew Gulak VS Akira Tozawa; Tozawa wins and advances to the Royal Rumble Cruiserweight Championship Fatal 4 Way.
PLAY BY PLAY
WWE mourns the loss of “Mean” Gene Okerlund.
Drake Maverick welcomes us to the first 205 Live of 2019!
The GM of the Cruiserweight Division has an important announcement later tonight on what’s in store for WWE’s fastest brand in the New Year. But first, we have some high stakes matches on the card! Buddy Murphy wants to prove he’s THE best Cruiserweight in the world, and will take on not one but three challengers at the Royal Rumble. Tonight, two matches will determine two of the three. The Lucha Dragon, Kalisto, will take on the Man of the Hour, Lio Rush. This match will personify speed as Kalisto looks to become a two-time Cruiserweight Champion while Lio could earn his first shot at the title.
Then the main event features one of 205 Live’s fiercest rivalries as The Stamina Monster, Akira Tozawa, takes on the Philly Fury, Drew Gulak. Tozawa and THE Brian Kendrick got even with Gulak and Jack Gallagher weeks ago in their Street Fight Tag match, but the war doesn’t end there. Will Gulak make Tozawa tap and win a ticket to the Royal Rumble? Or will Tozawa himself earn a chance at becoming a two-time champ?
Lio Rush VS Kalisto w/ Lucha House Party!
Between the New Year and WWE’s “fresh start”, the 24 Year Old Piece of Gold wants to renew his aspirations for championship gold. Meanwhile, the Lucha House Party would love some gold of their own to make the fiesta even more festive. Who will be the first of three contenders challenging the Juggernaut at the Royal Rumble?
The bell rings and Kalisto circles with Lio. Fans chant “Lucha! Lucha!” and “Lio Sucks!” and Kalisto makes sure Lio hears it. Then things speed up, but Kalisto doesn’t let Lio take the lead. “Lucha! Lucha!” starts up again and Kalisto blocks a kick. Kalisto flips Lio but Lio speeds things up as he rebounds and runs around. Kalisto matches with a handspring and Lio backs off. The matracas rattle and the fans chant “Lucha!” while The Body Guys, Buddy Murphy and Tony Nese, watch backstage and enjoy some protein shakes. Kalisto keeps his eyes on Lio but Lio takes his time returning. Lio then rushes in but Kalisto’s ready for him. Lio SLAPS Kalisto, but that only angers the Lucha Dragon! The chase is on!
Lio goes up and around a post then back in the ring. Kalisto handsprings off the steel steps to then get in, roll Lio and hit him with a Listo Kick! Kalisto keeps kicking but Lio knees back. Lio whips but Kalisto dropkicks Lio! Kalisto kicks Lio more, then runs, but Lio dodges. Kalisto tumbles to the apron, but Lio dropkicks him off! Lio then builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit onto Kalisto! Lio grimaces as he drags Kalisto up and into the ring. Lio stomps Kalisto to the corner, then throws haymakers. He stomps a mudhole but fans chant “Lucha! Lucha!” Kalisto CHOPS back! Lio kicks Kalisto then suplexes him down. Lio drags Kalisto up and elbows him in the back. Cover, ONE! Lio keeps his cool as he grabs Kalisto in a camel clutch. Kalisto endures as Lio pulls back, a knee into the back.
Fans rally and Kalisto feeds off the energy. Kalisto fights up and out, then victory rolls! TWO, and Lio clobbers Kalisto with a clothesline! Lio rains down lefts then covers, TWO! Lio puts the camel clutch back on, then grinds Kalisto’s face into the mat. He goes after the face and mask, but the ref reprimands him. Fans rally up but Lio clubs Kalisto. Lio throws Kalisto out, and both Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik check on him while Lio lounges on the top rope. The ring count climbs but Kalisto gets back in at 4. Lio lines up a shot and kicks Kalisto in the head. Lio throws body shots in the corner, then a chop. Kalisto hits back with CHOPS, then runs but into a back elbow! Metalik and Lince coach Kalisto as Lio covers, TWO! The “Lucha! Lucha!” starts again while Lio puts Kalisto in a keylock.
Kalisto endures and the matracas sound. Lio shifts to make it a half straitjacket but Kalisto endures. Kalisto gets up and fights his way out. Kalisto fires off but Lio hits back. They brawl, Lio lets off a strike fest! Lio runs in but is put on the apron. Kalisto swing kicks Lio down! Kalisto aims and knee-boards for a senton! Both men are down but fans fire up. Kalisto gets up first and brings Lio into the ring. Kalisto and Lio stand, Lio heel kicks Kalisto! Lio buzzsaw kicks Kalisto down, but he doesn’t cover. He heads for the corner and climbs up top. Kalisto springs to life to kick Lio back! Kalisto climbs to join Lio now, and the two fight up top. Lio headbutts Kalisto but Kalisto holds on. Lio punches Kalisto down but Kalisto kicks Lio again!
Kalisto climbs back up, picks Lio up, and hits a SUPER back flip power slam! Cover, TWO!! Lio lives and Kalisto can’t believe it! Fans rally and Kalisto stirs. Kalisto stands and fires up with more “Lucha! Lucha!” Lio stands and turns around, but denies Salida to go for the underhook. Lio spins Kalisto for the overdrive unprettier! Cover, TWO!! Kalisto survives and shocks Lio! Lio is furious, and he drags Kalisto up to punch him down. He does it again, then tries again. Kalisto counters and jawbreakers! Kalisto springboards, corkscrew crossbody! He kicks away on Lio, mule kick and runs. Lio runs to pump kick! Lio runs into a heel kick! Kalisto walks into a fireman’s carry, and hotshot!
Kalisto goes down and Lio recovers in the ring. The ref counts and the Lucha House Party coach Kalisto up. The count passes 7 as Kalisto stands. Kalisto gets up and gets in at 9.5! Lio is furious now, and goes to a corner. Lio climbs with Kalisto in a drop zone. But the matracas rattle and Lio gets annoyed. Lio tells them to stop, then aims at Kalisto. Lince still shakes the matraca but then Lio kicks it away! Lince gets mad and Metalik keeps hims back. Lio then hits both of them with a dropkick! Lince is ready to fight but he can’t because it’ll disqualify Kalisto. Lio uses that to his advantage, but walks into Salida del Sol!! Cover, Kalisto wins!!
Winner: Kalisto, by pinfall; advances to the Cruiserweight Championship Fatal 4 Way
Don’t blame Dorado for this one, Lio let himself lose focus, and that lost him the match. Now that Kalisto is headed for a title shot, will he be the one to stop the unstoppable? And who else will join him and Buddy Murphy in that championship match?
Backstage interview with Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher.
Does Gulak see himself as the underdog in tonight’s match after Akira Tozawa and THE Brian Kendrick defeated him and Gallagher in that Tag Team Street Fight? There are many words Gulak would use to describe himself, such as “leader” and “submission specialist”, but also “realist”. That match only proved that Tozawa and Kendrick are “low rent brawlers” and got lucky. Is Gulak an underdog? No. Because tonight is not a Street Fight, it is a wrestling match, and rules will be enforced. That puts Tozawa at the disadvantage. When Tozawa steps to Gulak, he will tap out.
Meanwhile, Kendrick helps Tozawa get in some last minute training. Tozawa fires off punch after punch into the pads with Gulak’s face on them, then throws them down on the ground. Both men are determined to settle the score while scoring themselves a spot in the championship match. Their main event is up next!
Drake Maverick speaks.
“Here on 205 Live, a new year means new opportunities.” 2018 saw a remarkable transformation, and with Maverick as GM, there won’t be any resting on our laurels. Maverick did some planning over the holidays, talked with the GMs of other brands, and even scoured all four corners of the globe for any and all great Cruiserweight talent to raise the standard of competition. The WWE Universe can expect new faces to join the roster, and the roster can expect fiercer competition. Maverick wants everyone to step up and rise to the occasion. 205 Live will remain the premier place for the world’s Cruiserweight Division! When and where will we see these new faces make their debuts?
Drew Gulak VS Akira Tozawa!
The Tag Team Street Fight was intense and innovative as The Stamina Monster and the newly shaven Man with a Plan overcame the Submission Commission. However, Gulak spins it that a no disqualification match means nothing to a technical specialist like himself. Will Gulak make up for that hardcore defeat with a sound and traditional victory? Or will Tozawa ring in his new year with a golden opportunity?
The Body Guys watch this match backstage, too, and Nese is still shaking up his drink. The bell rings and fans “AH! AH!” along with Tozawa. Gulak grimaces as he still hates chants and general crowd noise. The two circle and tie up. Gulak gets a headlock and takeover, but Tozawa gets the headscissor. Gulak headscissors back and then hammers Tozawa in the chest. Tozawa moves around and gets free, and the two stand off. Gulak swaggers about and fans boo. Tozawa and Gulak tie up, and Gulak gets the headlock again. Gulak brings Tozawa to the mat, but Tozawa gets up and reverses to a hammerlock and headlock. Gulak drops down to roll Tozawa up but Tozawa denies a cover. Tozawa holds on as they stand up again.
Gulak reverses out to a wristlock, then hooks Tozawa’s face to get the headlock back. Tozawa powers out but Gulak runs him over. Things speed up and Gulak rolls to catch Tozawa in a roll up! TWO, and Gulak narrowly avoids the Penalty Kick. The two stand off again, then tie up. Gulak grabs an ear and puts Tozawa in a corner. Gulak lets go at 4, then grinds his fingers into Tozawa’s face. He backs off at 4 again, and Tozawa fires back elbows. Tozawa scoops but Gulak blocks. Tozawa fakes the chop to hit the jab! Then he hits the scoop slam! And the shouting senton! Cover, TWO! Gulak rolls away and Tozawa takes aim. Gulak goes running, so Tozawa pursues. Tozawa runs into a boot, but blocks the snap suplex.
Tozawa hits back and Gulak gets into the ring. But Tozawa grabs the feet, only for Gulak to shove him into barriers! Gulak drags Tozawa up to scoop and slam him back. Gulak grins as he stands over Tozawa. He drags Tozawa up and into the ring, then covers. TWO, but Gulak smirks as he stomps Tozawa’s back. Gulak springboard stomps, then sits Tozawa up for a half surfboard on the arms. Tozawa endures as Gulak pulls back. Fans “AH! AH!” and Tozawa feeds off that energy to get the ropebreak. Gulak lets go at 4, but drops more springboard stomps. Gulak pulls Tozawa up by his nose, then scoop slams Tozawa fast. Cover, TWO, but Gulak is back on with a chinlock. Tozawa endures and fans rally up again.
Tozawa fights against the hold, but Gulak knees low. Gulak runs, but into Tozawa’s back kick. Tozawa swings, slides under, and swings another kick, but into Gulak’s powerbomb lift. Gulak aims for ropes, but Tozawa huricanrans Gulak out! Tozawa builds speed, Gulak gets back in but gets another huricanrana, for the rolling roundhouse! Cover, TWO! Tozawa keeps going and the fans “AH! AH!” again. Tozawa throws forearms and kicks, then stomps Gulak down. He pushes Gulak into the drop zone and climbs up top. Gulak sees that and gets to the apron. Tozawa kicks Gulak down but Gulak forearms him back. Gulak shoulders in but gets a kick. Tozawa climbs again, guillotine senton! But it’s double edged as Tozawa’s back takes damage from the impact!
A ten count begins and Tozawa slowly stands up. Gulak follows and they’re up at 6. Tozawa fires palm strikes and kicks, then runs in. Gulak dodges the shining wizard for a one handed bomb into the corner! Gulak roars now, and goes for the GuLOCK! Tozawa resists, and uses the corner for leverage. Cover, TWO! Gulak blocks the wizard to hit a discus lariat! Cover, TWO! Gulak grows frustrated while Tozawa gets to a corner. Gulak runs into a boot, and Tozawa hops up. Tozawa leaps to sunset flip but Gulak rolls through to powerbomb! High stack, TWO!! Gulak is shocked as well as frustrated as Tozawa survives. Gulak grits his teeth as he glares down at Tozawa. Tozawa fires himself up but Gulak stomps him. Gulak throws hands but Tozawa eggs him on.
They brawl now with back and forth haymakers and forearms. Tozawa gets an edge, runs, and rocks Gulak with a right. Tozawa runs again for another but Gulak still wobbles. The third time, Gulak boots Tozawa, only to run into Tozawa’s boot. Tozawa tries again, tilt-o-whirl into the Octopus Stretch! But Gulak pops out into a horse collar, aka the stretch muffler! Gulak spins Tozawa around, then make sit a cover! ONE, but the hold stays on. Tozawa crawls and reaches as Gulak pulls and stretches. Tozawa endures and gets the ropebreak! Gulak lets go, and both men are down from exhaustion. Fans rally up and Tozawa feeds off the energy. Tozawa and Gulak slowly stand. Gulak goes after Tozawa first with big forearms. Tozawa pushes Gulak into buckles! Tozawa ducks Gulak for the saido suplex! But Tozawa doesn’t cover, he goes up top!
Tozawa aims, but that bad leg slows him down. He leaps, but into the GuLOCK!! Gulak has the body scissors and the dragon sleeper, and Tozawa can only flail and kick! Tozawa moves around then rolls over to the ropes! Gulak lets go but only as both men fall out to the floor. Tozawa gasps for air while a ring count begins. Gulak stands first, and refreshes the count. Gulak CHOPS Tozawa, then throws him at a post! Tozawa blocks and fires off haymakers! Gulak body shots and puts Tozawa in the ring. Tozawa boots Gulak down, then builds speed to DIVE! The Tozawa Torpedo hits its target! Fans fire up with Tozawa as he puts Gulak back in. Tozawa climbs up top once more, but Gulak trips him up! Tozawa’s bad leg is part of the bad landing, and now Gulak gets an idea.
Gulak SLAPS Tozawa, then climbs! Gulak is bending his own personal rules for the sake of victory. Tozawa resists the superplex but shoves Gulak down. Gulak lands on his feet, and tries from the very top! Tozawa still resists, and Gulak gets nervous knees! Tozawa headbutts Gulak all the way down, and has his target. He stands, and leaps for the Tokyo Tower Senton!! Cover, Tozawa wins!!
Winner: Akira Tozawa by pinfall; advances to the Cruiserweight Championship Fatal 4 Way
Gulak gambled and lost! Tozawa outlasts Gulak’s ground game and wins with his aerial assault. THE Brian Kendrick celebrates with his new friend, ready to support the Stamina Monster in that title match. Will Tozawa’s stamina be the key to dethroning Buddy Murphy?
Tony Nese and Buddy Murphy aren’t worried.
The Premier Athlete even feels it just got that much easier for the champion. However, there’s one more match-up to determine the final contender. And speaking of…
Cedric Alexander speaks.
“Hideo Itami needs to understand that I don’t scare easy.” Itami walks around all intimidating, but it doesn’t work. Alexander doesn’t’ care about Itami’s past, because in their future, their rematch will end the same way as the first: Itami on the mat with a bad back, and Alexander having his hand raised.
Ariya Daivari and Hideo Itami respond.
“Cedric, your resilience in the face of adversity is absolutely admirable.” Even after his only friend, Mustafa Ali, left him for the bright lights of SmackDown, Alexander can still pick himself up after every setback. But Daivari assures that Alexander isn’t facing the same Itami from last year. This Itami is a tornado headed for the Royal Rumble. Itami tells Alexander in Japanese and Daivari translates in English, that Alexander may want his title back, but all he’s getting is a “lesson in respect.” Who wins this high stakes rematch to join Kalisto, Tozawa and Murphy at the Royal Rumble?
A pretty great episode right here, and perfect for 205 Live’s first 2019 episode. We get right down to it with two great and lengthy matches, but I do appreciate Maverick’s State of the Cruiserweight Division Address. Maverick uses kayfabe terms to essentially assure us that 205 Live will go on for as long as it can while acting as a Cruiserweight NXT. That is to say, any Cruiserweight class wrestler not quite ready for the main roster will join the purple brand and get some great play. Mustafa Ali could be seen as the prototypical Cruiserweight Call-Up. Ali has had great matches on 205 Live, he’s a complete character and very popular, and even has a great push on SmackDown with pinning Bryan and being in the #1 Contender’s Fatal 5. I can’t wait to see who else joins to then potentially go main roster.
The matches tonight also served to prove a point that 205 Live is where great matches will happen. I think each match got roughly 20 minutes and told great stories. I’m surprised Lio didn’t win, but I suppose him being annoyed and distracted by the matracas was plausible. Tozawa and Gulak had a great match that told the story of their past rivalry over Gulak’s distaste for chanting and high-flying moves. Gulak even made a similar mistake as their past feud when he risks going up top and it blows up in his face. Tozawa wins, but that makes two Faces and one Heel in the match. I was hoping Lio would win because then that’s two Heels and one Face. Cedric being Face and Itami being Heel, the math could dictate that Daivari helps Itami win and we have two and two.
Or WWE could get away from strict Face-Heel dynamics and allow for three Faces and one Heel. It would work really well if Cedric gets his shot, but then can’t get it done because this is a Fatal 4 Way and one of the others capitalizes. As I said for Raw and SmackDown this week, the “fresh start” isn’t really happening until things are completely shuffled. Alexander can detour to face Itami and Daivari, Murphy will lose and not have an automatic rematch, so that way either a two-time champion Kalisto or two-time champion Tozawa gets to use the belt in a program with any number of Heels. Murphy and Alexander could even go from the title to either being another Cruiserweight Call-Up like Ali, or helping get these new Cruiserweight stars up to speed.
My Score: 8.4/10
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: New Japan Cup 2019 Part 1!
The 2019 New Japan Cup begins!
NJPW begins the 2019 New Japan Cup! Who among Tetsuya Naito, Kota Ibushi, Zack Sabre Jr. and EVIL will move on to the second round?
Coverage will be as broadcast by AXS TV
Find gifs on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Zack Sabre Jr. VS EVIL; ZSJ wins and advances to the second round.
- Tetsuya Naito VS Kota Ibushi; Ibushi wins and advances to the second round.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene to kickoff the 2019 New Japan Cup!
Spring brings the best in the world in this special single elimination tournament! Only one man will win the right to challenge the IWGP Heavyweight Champion in Madison Square Garden!
The first round has already seen a bit of action, with NJPW standards, Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi, advance, but others falling victim to upsets. Juice Robinson lost to Chase Owens while Sanada overcome Hirooki Goto. The biggest surprises perhaps came from the biggest men losing to the Junior Heavyweights when Bad Luck Fale and Hiroyoshi Tenzan lost to Will Ospreay and Ryusuke Taguchi respectively. But tonight, two of the most anticipated matches take the spotlight! The rivalry of the last year takes the stage again as EVIL and Zack Sabre Jr. face off once again! Plus, Kota Ibushi returns from injury to battle Tetsuya Naito in a G1 Climax rematch! The Golden Star looks to be the comeback kid while the Uncontrollable Charisma wants to be a historic dual champion! Only one can make their dream come true tonight!
Zack Sabre Jr. VS EVIL!
Taka Michinoku welcomes everyone to Zack Sabre Time, and asks who everyone thinks will win this year’s New Japan Cup. Well it’ll be the man who won last yer’s winner, the Submission Master and British Heavyweight Champion! So Evil, you’ll #JustTapOut! C’mon over here! The King of Darkness responds to being called out, and we begin the next chapter of this already storied rivalry!
The bell rings and fans cheer Evil on as he circles with ZSJ. They slowly approach and Evil knees low. Evil headlocks but ZSJ tries to power out, only for Evil to hold on tighter. Evil gets the headlock takeover but ZSJ works for a headscissor counter. He can’t get it so he stands up. ZSJ spins through and arm-drags Evil off, but Evil headscissors him. Evil squeezes and ZSJ endures. ZSJ finds his way up and pops free, then dares Evil to come on. ZSJ headbutts and headlocks but Evil powers out and runs him off! Fans cheer as Evil waits for ZSJ to return. Taka keeps ZSJ calm as he gets back up. ZSJ and Evil circle again, and Evil calls for a test of strength. ZSJ accepts and they grapple, and Evil gets the double knuckle locks.
Evil brings ZSJ to his knees but ZSJ reels him to reverse. ZSJ hammerlocks but Evil switches to his own, but ZSJ switches back, and so on. ZSJ spins and drops to get the takedown but Evil pushes him away. Evil avoids the Penalty Kick but ZSJ ducks the clothesline. Evil blocks ZSJ’s boot to chop and senton! But ZSJ gets his knees up and reels Evil into an armbar! Evil stacks for a cover, TWO! ZSJ still has the arm, but Evil gets the ropebreak. ZSJ lets go but comes back for more. He cranks Evil’s arm back then stomps the hammerlock. ZSJ also kicks Evil in the chest and stomps his legs. ZSJ ties the legs up in a figure four and pulls hair. The referee reprimands ZSJ but ZSJ stays on the arm with pulling fingers and twisting the arm.
ZSJ uses the hammerlock to turn Evil for a cover, TWO! Evil tries to get feeling in his arm but ZSJ kicks him in the back. ZSJ looms over Evil and gives his bad arm toying kicks. ZSJ kicks Evil again, but Evil grabs the kick! Evil hands the foot to Red Shoes before he mule kicks ZSJ down! The 2018 cup winner is down while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Evil brings ZSJ up for forearms. Evil puts ZSJ in a corner then whips him corner to corner. ZSJ stops himself and comes back, but for a sidewalk slam! Fans fire up with Evil as he drags ZSJ back up. Evil suplexes ZSJ up and over then covers, TWO! Evil keeps his cool as he brings ZSJ up again. ZSJ blocks the fireman’s carry and goes after the arm with a double wristlock. Evil powers through but ZSJ slips out to a full nelson. Evil endures the hold and breaks free! He headlocks and knees ZSJ right down! Evil stalks ZSJ to a corner and headlocks, but ZSJ denies the bulldog into the abdominal stretch! They go around and around and Evil puts it on ZSJ! ZSJ endures and pries the arm off, to Pele it!
ZSJ gives Evil European Uppercuts in the corner! He goes corner to corner but Evil follows for a clothesline! Evil runs but ZSJ follows, only for Evil to see him coming and clothesline him again! Cover, TWO! Evil drags ZSJ right up, fireman’s carry, Darkness Falls! Cover, TWO! Sabre survives but Evil has more where that came from. Evil drags ZSJ up and slashes the throat. But ZSJ victory rolls! TWO and Evil has it on ZSJ, TWO!! ZSJ wants a backslide but Evil powers it around, backslide on ZSJ! TWO, Penalty Kick! Both men are down, and fans cheer for Evil while Taka coaches ZSJ. ZSJ goes right at Evil to keylock stomp the arm! ZSJ kicks at it but Evil only gets angry. Evil stands and ZSJ throws EuroUppers, but those only make Evil stronger. He CHOPS ZSJ off his feet!
Evil stands ZSJ up for another chop, but ZSJ stands on his feet. ZSJ gives Evil a shoulder breaker, but Evil gives one back! Evil spins but into a EuroUpper. ZSJ runs but Evil goes sideways, ZSJ catches the clothesline into an Octopus Stretch! He drags Evil down and he cranks back! Evil endures as ZSJ twists him all around! ZSJ has one arm trapped and the other arm back, but Evil uses a leg for the ropebreak! ZSJ lets go but he comes back to dig his elbow into the back. He grabs Evil’s arm and twists it in his legs! ZSJ Penalty Kicks Evil down again! ZSJ catches his breath while Red Shoes checks on Evil. Evil sits up but uses Red Shoes as a shield! Evil mule kicks ZSJ again, then drags him up, to place on Red Shoes! Magic Killer!!
Evil catches his breath and grins while he, ZSJ and Red Shoes slowly get up. ZSJ gets to a corner as Taka coaches him up. Evil runs in for a big clothesline! Evil roars and fans fire up as Evil drags ZSJ up to the top rope. He climbs up to join ZSJ, for a SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Sabre survives again but he clutches his own shoulder now. Evil stands and slashes the throat! He drags ZSJ up, spins him around but ZSJ slips through to scoop. Evil escapes but ZSJ standing switches. ZSJ rolls Evil back but the European Clutch is blocked! Evil wants a Half ‘n’ Half but ZSJ resists. ZSJ reaches for ropes but Evil shifts to a German Suplex! Evil takes aim, but ZSJ kicks the clotheslines away once, twice, but not the third time! Cover, TWO!! Fans are thunderous after that close call!
Evil roars and drags ZSJ up again. He spins ZSJ around but ZSJ slips around and hops up! Sleeper to victory roll to EuroClutch, to EVERYTHING- Is Octopus! ZSJ drags Evil down, Napalm Death! Evil is stuck, Evil taps! ZSJ wins again!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission; advances to the second round
The 2018 New Japan Cup winner keeps on winning! ZSJ has a cup winning streak, will it continue all the way to the finals?
Tetsuya Naito VS Kota Ibushi!
This match feels almost too soon in the tournament! The leader of Los Ingobernables and the Golden Star could both have both made their way to the finals, but now only one of them will move on! Will Ibushi’s comeback lead him all the way to New York? Or will the IWGP Intercontinental Champion move towards being a historic dual champion in NJPW?
Fans love both stars so they’re naturally divided at the bell. Naito and Ibushi stare down as the cheers are thunderous. They start circling and then approach to tie up. Naito gets a headlock but Ibushi spins out for a keylock. Ibushi headlocks now but Naito punches out. Naito pulls hair and pushes Ibushi and things speed up. Ibushi hurdles Naito then again, but Naito ducks the kick and moonsault. Naito arm-drags but Ibushi headscissors, and the two break! Naito even hits Tranquilo. Fans cheer while Naito decides to roll out of the ring. Naito takes his time returning, telling Ibushi to relax. Ibushi doesn’t give Naito a choice, but then Naito escapes Ibushi to tease him about taking time. Ibushi returns but Naito is on him with kicks and elbows.
Naito whips but Ibushi reverses, but Naito grabs ropes. Naito dumps Ibushi out then sweeps the legs. He slingshots and dropkicks Ibushi down, a new take on his Cabron Combo. Naito has control while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Naito whips Ibushi into railing. Naito drags Ibushi up and brings him around the way, to whip him into more railing! Fans cheer Naito but also show concern for Ibushi as Naito whips him into railing a third time! Naito brings Ibushi around the railing and bounces him off the desks. Red Shoes tells Naito to bring things back to the ring but Naito bounces Ibushi off wood again. Naito leaves Ibushi behind and rests in the ring. Ibushi crawls his way back as the ring count begins. The count passes 5 of 20 as Ibushi stands. Ibushi returns ringside at 10 and hops in at 11. Naito is on Ibushi with a whip and big elbow, then a swift basement dropkick! Naito poses more while Ibushi writhes.
Fans cheer for Ibushi and Naito spits at them. Naito stomps Ibushi and drags him up into a cravat neck wrench. Ibushi endures as Naito cranks hard. Ibushi fights out with body shots but Naito elbows him down. Naito then brings Ibushi around for a neckbreaker and casually covers, TWO! Ibushi’s bad neck is a target and Naito keeps on it. Naito brings Ibushi up but Ibushi breaks free. Ibushi throws forearms but Naito just smirks. Ibushi throws more but Naito elbows him around the side. Naito throws more elbows into the neck and Ibushi slumps against the ropes. Naito toys with Ibushi but Red Shoes reprimands him. He whips but Ibushi reverses and dodges to whip back. Ibushi dropkicks Naito right down! Both men fall into each other but Ibushi’s up first.
Ibushi drags Naito up for a strike fest! Naito blocks the kick to kick the knee, but still runs into a roundhouse! Ibushi standing moonsaults! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps his cool as he drags Naito up again. Naito resists the German suplex and gets the standing switch. Ibushi throws elbows to break free. Ibushi runs in but Naito boots him from the corner. Naito runs out but into a huricanrana! Fans fire up while Naito bails out of the ring. Ibushi fires up with the fans and goes to the corner. Naito knows it’s coming and stops the Golden Triangle! Naito drags Ibushi out for a draping neckbreaker to the apron! Ibushi falls to the floor and Red Shoes checks on him. He’s somehow okay to continue and drags himself into the ring.
Naito is waiting again, and runs out from a corner, shotgun dropkick! Then he drags Ibushi up to the top rope and out for another draping neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi survives and Naito is surprised, but we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Naito drags Ibushi back up. Naito ties Ibushi up but Ibushi fights out with his free arm. Naito clubs Ibushi in the neck then hits a German Suplex, but Ibushi lands on his feet! Ibushi kicks but Naito ducks to enziguri! Naito whips but Ibushi reverses only for Naito to come back with flying forearms, only to be caught into a snap German! Both men are down but the fans fire up! Naito and Ibushi stir as fans duel. Red Shoes checks and they’re both okay to continue. Ibushi and Naito grit their teeth as they sit up. They head for each other and start throwing forearms. Ibushi hits, Naito hits, repeat. They slowly stand but the brawling continues.
Ibushi hits but Naito comes back. The two stare down and Ibushi throws a forearm. Naito throws one back, so Ibushi gives another. They start picking up speed and now they’re just swinging wild! Ibushi fires off many palm strikes but Naito throws slaps. Ibushi runs but into Naito’s spinebuster! Naito drags Ibushi up and to the top rope again. Naito climbs up behind Ibushi and fans anticipate something dangerous. Ibushi holds on so Naito clubs away. Naito stands Ibushi up, but Ibushi grabs at Naito’s leg. Ibushi turns around and trips Naito up! Naito manages to stay on the apron, but Ibushi stalks him from above. Ibushi drags Naito up while standing on the ropes. Ibushi lifts but Naito fights out! Naito slaps away on Ibushi’s face, then brings Ibushi in, TOMBSTONE on the apron!!
Naito puts Ibushi in the ring then drags him up again. Hammerlock and underhook, GLORIA! Cover, TWO!? Ibushi still lives but Naito isn’t fazed. Naito drags Ibushi up again, arm wrench and tilt-o-whirl, but into Ibushi’s own PACKAGE TOMBSTONE!! Cover, TWO!? Now Naito survives and shocks everyone! Fans duel as Naito and Ibushi drag themselves to opposite corners. Naito runs at Ibushi but into a roundhouse! Ibushi brings Naito in but Naito spins out for a tornado DDT! Naito aims at Ibushi and runs in, into a clothesline!! Ibushi drags Naito up and to a lift, SIT-OUT LAST RIDE! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives again but Ibushi is too tired to be frustrated. Ibushi drags Naito up and grabs both hands, but Naito dodges Kamigoye, DESTINO!! Cover, TWO!?!
Fans are thunderous as this match continues! Naito staggers up and drags Ibushi to his feet. Wrench and tilt-o-whirl but Ibushi slips out to roundhouse! Ibushi gives a shout out to the King of Strong Style as he aims from a corner. Naito sits up, BOMAYE!! Cover, TWO?!? Ibushi can NOT believe Naito survived again! But Ibushi vows to finish this, double underhook, Butterfly Driver! But he’s not done there, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!
Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; advances to the second round
It took so much, but Ibushi makes it through the opening round! Naito’s dream is denied for now, what will it take for him to become the first-ever dual Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion in NJPW history? As for Ibushi, he advances only to take on Zack Sabre Jr. next! Will Ibushi break ZSJ’s streak in the New Japan Cup? Or will he #JustTapOut?
Ibushi takes the mic and thanks Naito for that amazing match. “In 2019, in NJPW, I’ll show you a new version of Kota Ibushi.” Ibushi vows to go all the way and win! Will everyone else in the tournament, let alone Jay White, take this to heart?
Wow, what a great opening to the tournament! At first, I thought it was a bit of a shame that this will be it for the first round, no Okada or Tanahashi, but seeing they had matches with slightly less important opponents (sorry, Mike Elgin), the two matches we got were much more worthy of airtime. Evil VS ZSJ is again an incredible match, and it makes a lot of sense for ZSJ to win. While Sanada is in the tournament, too, he and Evil are still strongly in the Heavyweight Tag Team Division. ZSJ has a great New Japan Cup win streak story to tell, and it’ll make a loss, should one come, all the more exciting if it’s in the later rounds. ZSJ going for back-to-back tournament wins on top of a huge title match is great, but I can’t be sure the chances of it happening.
Naito VS Ibushi was a really great match, and it’s not just kayfabe saying this match could’ve been a logical tournament finals choice. Naito’s story of becoming a dual champion could’ve propelled the tournament to some interesting places, but at the same time, it doesn’t have to be told in the tournament. Ibushi is in NJPW to stay so it means a lot more that he gets a push in the tournament. He already has a hard road ahead of him if the second round pits him against ZSJ, but perhaps a Kota Ibushi that can get through such big names, much like ZSJ did in last year’s tournament, can be a Kota Ibushi that defeats Jay White in Madison Square Garden.
My Score: 8.8/10
Mitchell’s ROH Results & Report! (3/16/19)
Zack Sabre Jr. continues his journey in ROH!
Ring of Honor Wrestling Television, Episode 391
It’s ROH 17th Anniversary weekend, but the action keeps on rolling! The Submission Master returns, will he make Rocky Romero #JustTapOut?
- Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Silas Young & The Briscoes; Young & The Briscoes win.
- The Bouncers VS Brian Johnson & Joe Keys; The Bouncers win.
- Madison Rayne w/ Sumie Sakai VS Thunder Rosa w/ Holidead; Rayne wins.
- Zack Sabre Jr. VS Rocky Romero; ZSJ wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Silas Young & The Briscoes!
Cheeseburger leads Ryan Nova and Eli Isom into battle! Will their fighting spirits combined be enough to overcome the Last Real Man and #DemBoyz?
The bell rings and Isom begins against Jay Briscoe. Isom is no stranger to taking on former ROH World Champions, this could be his third upset on one already. They tie up and Jay waistlocks. Isom standing switches and throws Jay down but Jay reverses to a facelock, but Isom slips away. Fans applaud the Future of Honor keeping up with Jay. Jay and Isom circle again and Jay keeps Isom guessing on the grapple. Jay reels Isom in for a headlock, but Isom powers out, only for Jay to run him over. Things speed up and Isom kicks Jay. Isom runs but sees Jay follow. Jay fakes Isom out and kicks him down. Jay tags Mark and The Briscoes mug Isom. Mark suplexes but Isom slips out and shoves Mark. Mark turns around into Isom’s arm-drag!
Isom tags in Nova and Nova hops up for ax handles. Nova wrenches the arm but Mark rolls through. Mark breaks free but Nova dodges and fires off strikes. Nova wrenches and tags in Cheeseburger! Burger climbs up to drop his own ax handle. Burger wrenches but Mark pushes him away. Mark rushes at Burger but Burger crawls under and kicks him away. Burger speeds up but Jay stands in his way. Mark rocks Burger with a shotgun dropkick! Silas and the Briscoes take control as we go to break.
ROH returns and Silas taunts Burger to stand, only to stomp him down. Fans rally up for Burger and he throws body shots on Silas. Burger fires forearms but Silas shoves Burger for the backbreaker clothesline on the rebound! Silas drags Burger over and tags in Mark. Mark drops an elbow then drags Burger up. Mark suplexes and holds Burger up for a few seconds before dropping him down. Fans rally but Mark puts Burger in a camel clutch. Burger endures while Jay and Silas taunt him. Mark fish hooks Burger but lets up at 4. Mark blasts Nova but the ref keeps Isom from going after Mark. But he misses Mark biting Burger! Mark gets away with it then CHOPS Burger in a corner! Mark whips corner to corner but Burger dodges! Burger dodges Silas and Jay, too, hot tag to Isom!
Isom dropkicks Mark to his corner where Jay tags in. Silas runs at Isom but Isom puts him on the apron and dropkicks him down! Jay goes after Isom with a waistlock but is bucked off. Isom pops Jay up to a fireman’s carry! Nova intercepts Mark and DIVES on Silas! Air Raid Crash from Isom to Jay! Cover, TWO!! Isom almost had another former world champion caught! Isom keeps going but Jay blocks the suplex. Jay fights back but Isom throws his own forearms. Isom runs but into Jay’s fireman’s carry. Jay hits the Spicolli Driver while Mark climbs up! FROGGY-BOW! Jay covers, TWO!? Isom survives and The Briscoes are shocked!
The ref tells Mark to go to the corner but the Briscoes ignore him. #DemBoyz work together to finish this, double underhook but Isom fights out. Isom pushes Jay into Mark then kicks, suplex to brainbuster! Cover, TWO!! Another close call but Isom keeps his focus. Isom and Jay stand as fans rally up. Isom throws forearms and elbows then an enziguri. Jay staggers and Jay runs, but SUPERKICK for Jay! High-Low combo for The Briscoes! Mark keeps Burger out while Jay hits his Jay Driller! Cover, The Briscoes & Silas win!
Winners: Silas Young & The Briscoes, Jay Briscoe pinning
The Shinobi Shadow Squad struggles in the Six Man Tag Division against such accomplished opponents. Will it be the Last Real Man and Dem Boyz who move on towards the titles instead?
Rhett Titus speaks.
“Willie Mack, I heard you had plans to take the NWA National Title and defend it in every state across America.” Well Willie, plans change, because the Fittest is looking to take that belt and bring it with him on the Flex Express. Will Rhett’s own plans have to change after facing The Mack next episode?
The Bouncers VS Brian Johnson & Joe Keys!
The literally biggest team in the ROH Tag Team Division takes on two other Future of Honor stars. With physiques like theirs, JK and The Number One were hoping for sunny beaches and “beautiful baby dolls”, but instead got “busted up broads and their beer-swilling bozos”! Well that’s no way to talk about the fans or beer! The Bouncers make their way out with plenty of drinks, and Brian Milonas takes the mic. He and The Beer City Bruiser are here to kick ass and drink beer! Will they do just that against these rude rookies?
The Code of Honor is still upheld between the teams, and we start with Bruiser and Keys. Keys shows off his body while teasing Bruiser about the beer belly. Bruiser admits Keys wins the body building, but Bruiser has the fans as they chant “Beer! Beer!” along with him. Keys calls for a test of strength and Bruiser isn’t sure he’s serious. Keys shoves Bruiser and tells him to take it serious. Bruiser accepts the test, and SLAPS Keys off his feet! Keys gets up and kicks but Bruiser catches it. Bruiser spins Keys for an atomic drop. Keys gets to a corner but covers up from Bruiser’s punch. So Bruiser CHOPS instead! And CHOPS, and CHOPS! Fans cheer for more but Keys turns around to protect his chest. So Bruiser CHOPS his back! Keys scrambles to his corner and tags in Johnson.
Johnson fires off on Bruiser but Bruiser shoves him to run him over! Bruiser drags Johnson up but Johnson powers him to the corner. Keys anchors Bruiser’s feet and Johnson gets a sucker punch! Johnson stomps away in the corner then tags in Keys. Keys stomps Bruiser now but lets up at 4. Keys chops Bruiser back then goes to scoop. Bruiser’s too big for that, so Keys gives a European Uppercut. Johnson tags in and rams in his own uppercut. Johnson and Keys work together for a double scoop slam! Cover, ONE, and with power! Bruiser reaches for Milonas but Keys tags back in. Keys stomps Bruiser down then puts Bruiser back in the corner. Keys throws EuroUppers then gestures at Milonas. He runs in for a splash but Bruiser dodges! Keys hits buckles and both men are down!
Fans rally up as Bruiser crawls for his corner. Johnson shouts to Keys, and Keys tags him in. Johnson grabs Bruiser’s feet but Bruiser still gets to Milonas! The Mastodon rallies on both Future of Honor stars! Fans fire up as he pounces Keys out of the ring, then squashes Johson in a corner. Milonas whips Johnson corner to corner for another splash, then scoops. Johnson slips out and shoves Milonas away. Johnson dodges the clothesline but gets a pop-up spinebuster! Keys attacks Milonas from behind but Bruiser gets Keys. Bruiser whips Keys and Milonas gives Keys a pop-up spinebuster! The Bouncers say bottom’s up and grab Johnson. Milonas climbs and Bruiser holds Johnson up, draping leg drop! Cover, The Bouncers win!
Winners: The Bouncers, Brian Milonas pinning
They kicked ass, now they drink beer! Will the Bouncers find their way to the ROH World Tag Team Championships and drink to a title reign?
Madison Rayne speaks.
“Thunder Rosa, you think that you and Holidead can come into ROH and control the narrative and call the shots?” Here’s the reality: the Twisted Sisterz are the opposite of what the Women of Honor stand for. The Queen Bee vows to make a statement, but will it go the way she hopes?
Willie Mack speaks.
The inaugural NWA National Champion is all about making history, and he makes history with ROH next week. He’ll defend his title in all 50 states, and is already on number 5. If Rhett Titus wants to stay fit, then he better get ready for a fight!
Madison Rayne w/ Sumie Sakai VS Thunder Rosa w/ Holidead!
As The Queen Bee alluded to, The Twisted Sisterz have done what they want to who they want since joining the Women of Honor Division, including the Ray of Sunshine. Now Sumie stands beside Madison, will they put the trouble-makers in their place?
Madison doesn’t wait for the bell, she goes right at Thunder Rosa! She tackles Rosa down and the bell has to ring as she fires off right hands. Rayne puts Rosa in one corner then runs her all the way to the other. She bumps Rosa off a third then hits a sliding lariat. Rayne runs Rosa over with a shoulder and fires up while Rosa regroups with Holidead. Rayne doesn’t give Rosa much time to regain composure, she goes right out and rocks her with a right! She puts Rosa back in while Sumie keeps her eyes on Holidead. Rayne runs Rosa over with a clothesline but notices Holidead egging Sumie on. Rayne runs and wrecks Holidead with a dropkick! Sumie and the fans cheer Rayne on but Rosa hits Rayne back!
Rosa fetches Rayne and rams her into the apron. She then CHOPS Rayne against the apron, before shoving her into the ring. Rosa stomps Rayne then covers, TWO! Rosa drags Rayne up and bumps Rayne off the buckles. She stomps a mudhole into Rayne but backs off at 4. Rosa snapmares Rayne and kicks her sharp on the back. Holidead wants another so Rosa kicks Rayne again. Rosa runs and dropkicks Rayne in the back, covers, TWO! Sumie coaches Rayne up while Rosa mockingly applauds. Rayne throws body shots but Rosa clubs her down. Rosa scoops and slams Rayne down, then applauds herself. Rosa runs side to side for a BIG leg drop! Cover, TWO! The Queen Bee is in trouble while we go to break.
ROH returns and Rosa toys with Rayne. Rayne throws forearms back and enziguris! Rosa falls over and Rayne covers, TWO! Holidead is relieved but Rayne keeps on Rosa. Rosa throws Rayne down by her hair, then drags her up for chops. Rosa whips Rayne corner to corner then runs in for a big back elbow! She snapmares Rayne to a cover, TWO! Fans rally for Rayne but Rose wraps on a chinlock. Rayne endures and fights her way up, but Rosa throws her back down. Cover, TWO! Rosa grabs Rayne for more chops, then does a little salsa to show off. She whips but Rayne reverses and things speed up, Rayne SPEARS Rosa down! But Rayne is also down and a standing 10 count begins.
The count reaches 5 as both women sit up. Rosa grabs Rayne and brings her up but Rayne fires forearms! Rayne dodges Rosa and rallies with more forearms. Rayne fires up and goes corner to corner but Rose catches her! Rosa puts Rayne on the top rope but Rayne boots her back. Rayne leaps for the crossbody! Both women are back up, Rayne ducks a kick to give an enziguri! Cover, TWO! Rayne keeps on Rosa with a waistlock. She wrings Rosa out but Rosa goes to swing. Rayne adjusts and gets around Rosa again for a dragon sleeper. Rosa elbows out and brings Rayne up into the Gory Especial, and spins around for the facebuster! Cover, TWO!! Rayne survives and the Twisted Sisterz are shocked!
Rosa is furious as she drags Rayne right up onto her shoulder! Rosa spins but Rayne slips out for the Rayne Drop! Cover, Rayne wins!
Winner: Madison Rayne, by pinfall
The Queen Bee wins outta nowhere and gets revenge on behalf of Sumie Sakai! Will Rayne and others teach the Twisted Sisterz a lesson about being Women of Honor?
Team Coast2Coast speaks.
“We were gone for a very long time, but for good reason.” Shaheem Ali and Leon St. Giovanni were “rediscovering” themselves. But now C2C is better than ever and will take on the best in the world! Their return is next week against Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham, will Chocolate Man and the Human Rocket be ready for the Franchise and the Octopus?
Zack Sabre Jr. VS Rocky Romero!
The partnership of ROH and NJPW is on display as the Submission Master returns! But not only that, the player-coach of Roppongi 3K makes his own return! Will Rocky make a run in ROH for gold? Or will he #JustTapOut?
ROH returns with the bell! Fans cheer Rocky on as he circles with ZSJ. Rocky keeps away from ZSJ’s grip and then they approach. ZSJ still gets Rocky down with a headlock but Rocky keeps up with his reversals. ZSJ gets free but both he and Rocky smirk as they circle again. They tie up again and ZSJ gets the arm. He cranks on it to get Rocky to the mat. Rocky endures the wristlock and ZSJ grinds a knee in. Rocky gets to his feet but ZSJ wrenches and arm-drags Rocky back down. Fans cheer ZSJ’s technique as he twists and pulls Rocky’s arm. Rocky spins through and gets up to dropkick ZSJ out of the ring! ZSJ is frustrated already as he kicks the railing. Rocky waits for ZSJ as he catches his breath.
ZSJ returns and circles with Rocky. They tie up and ZSJ gets a leg. He trips Rocky and stands on his feet. ZSJ twists the leg around and then ties the legs up so he can go after Rocky’s neck with a wrench. But he also hooks the face so the ref counts. ZSJ lets up at 4 to bring Rocky into a Bow ‘n’ Arrow. Rocky pops out to a cover, TWO! Fans applaud as Rocky and ZSJ circle again. Rocky and ZSJ approach and Rocky gets ZSJ’s leg now. Rocky waistlocks but ZSJ wrenches to a switch. ZSJ wrenches again and brings Rocky to his knees. ZSJ brings Rocky further down as he mounts the arm to pull back. Fans applaud while Rocky endures the pair of knuckle locks.
Rocky and ZSJ go shoulder to shoulder but ZSJ gets the cover. TWO so ZSJ tries again. TWO as Rocky brings up the shoulder, so ZSJ pushes it down. Rocky bridges this time, and then anticipates ZSJ hopping on with a monkey flip! It’s a double cover, but Rocky rolls back, only to get caught into ZSJ’s armbar! Rocky rolls and shifts but ZSJ slips out to a hammerlock. Fans applaud this continued exchange as Rocky reaches back for ZSJ. Rocky leaps and snapmares but ZSJ headbutts back. ZSJ snapmares but Rocky handsprings through to dropkick him down! Rocky brings ZSJ up for a chop then a cravat. ZSJ endures but Rocky snapmares. ZSJ responds with his own snapmare, but then Rocky snapmares back. They go snapmare for snapmare, but then ZSJ shoves Rocky down for a neck crank! Rocky writhes while we go to one last break.
ROH returns once again as Rocky manages a ropebreak while in a modified Bow ‘n’ Arrow. ZSJ reluctantly lets go, and waits for Rocky to sit up. ZSJ clamps on a half straitjacket, then digs in elbows and knuckles to get the full. Rocky endures as fans rally up. Rocky feeds off the energy but ZSJ does his best to keep Rocky down. The two struggle against each other, and ZSJ digs a knee in to keep the straitjacket. Rocky stands and spins the straitjacket around but ZSJ spins it back on. ZSJ brings Rocky back down then flips him over, but Rocky uses that to reverse the hold! Rocky has ZSJ but ZSJ breaks free to throw a EuroUpper. ZSJ whips but Rocky elbows back. Rocky springboards for a tornado DDT! Both men are down but fans rally up.
Another standing count begins and Rocky sits up at 3. ZSJ follows and grabs Rocky first. Rocky dodges and huricanranas! Things speed up, Rocky springboards again for a crossbody! Cover, TWO! Rocky toys with ZSJ, then starts slapping him around. ZSJ EuroUppers then grabs a leg. Rocky misses the first enziguri but not the rewind! Fans fire up with Rocky as he runs corner to corner to start the Forever Clotheslines! He gets one, then another, but runs into a boot! ZSJ runs but into Rocky’s leaping knee, only to make it an STF! Rocky is caught, and ZSJ shifts sides! Rocky drags himself around and manages a ropebreak! ZSJ lets Rocky go and catches his breath. Now ZSJ toys with Rocky as he stomps him around. ZSJ kicks but Rocky gets mad. ZSJ pie faces so Rocky SLAPS away!
Rocky knees and hauls ZSJ up to the top rope. Rocky runs corner to corner for a top shelf knee! ZSJ falls to the apron but Rocky checks his shoulder first. Rocky brings ZSJ up but ZSJ resists the suplex. ZSJ goes after the arm but Rocky throws forearms. Rocky shoulders in but gets caught into an Octopus through the ropes! ZSJ lets go at 4 then shoves Rocky away. Rocky dropkicks ZSJ on the return! Rocky throws forearms and CHOPS, then ties ZSJ up in the ropes. He goes to the side and springboards for a guillotine missile dropkick! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ survives and Rocky is exhausted. Fans build to a rally for Rocky as he brings ZSJ up. Rocky throws forearms on ZSJ then eggs him on. ZSJ throws a EuroUpper, but Rocky comes back for fast hands. Rocky kicks and runs for a Sliced Bread! Cover, TWO!
Rocky drags ZSJ up again and wants more, but ZSJ escapes Sliced Bread 2 for the standing abdominal stretch! Rocky reaches but ZSJ rolls him away, then around, Hurrah! The double wrist-clutch octopus is on and Rocky taps quickly! ZSJ wins!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission
The Submission Master brings in Another Year, Surely This One Will Be Better Than the Last. Will ZSJ’s first year in ROH be golden sooner rather than later?
Another ROH PPV, another disconnect between it and their television episodes. This episode, as all episodes are, was clearly recorded long before the PPV as nothing that happened at the PPV affects this episode’s events. For those who didn’t see the ROH 17th Anniversary, make sure to check here for the full card results. But for those who did, you know The Briscoes lost the the ROH World Tag Team Championships to Villain Enterprises, yet Jay & Mark still had the belts here. And all this makes it strange for commentary to vaguely reference the PPV when it hadn’t happened for them yet. The Six Man Tag they had was only okay, so I don’t see why it couldn’t have been three other Heels going against Shinobi Shadow Squad to get the spotlight instead.
In fact, seeing as how more Future of Honor stars were brought on for this episode, I’m starting to think that’s what episodes like this should be about. ROH Future of Honor stars can appear, get some television exposure, and take the card in place of literally anyone involved on the PPV card. And of course, facing Future of Honor stars meant an easy win for The Bouncers, who might finally be moving up now that they’re Faces. Meanwhile, Rhett Titus’ new gimmick is like if Lex Luger and Val Venis fused, but then the combination was slightly diluted. But Rhett VS Mack, even non-title, sounds fun. Pretty sure Mack wins that, but bringing NWA and its new championship into the fold of ROH’s many partnerships also sounds great.
Rayne VS Rosa was a good match, and I’m sensing this is building to something more. I’ve said before that having the Twisted Sisterz in WOH must mean Women’s Tag Team Championships are on the horizon, and it would be pretty big if Sumie Sakai joins Rayne in competing for those. I don’t think Rayne & Sumie would be the inaugural champions, that really should be the Twisted Sisterz given their resumes. But Sumie one day becoming a tag champ to be the first woman to have both the WOH World and Tag Team Championships would be a great thing for her own career. ZSJ VS Romero was a good match, and clearly ZSJ is set to dominate to at least a World Television Championship level. ZSJ VS Jeff Cobb would be great for the sheer difference in styles, but we know it’ll have to wait until after G1 Supercard.
My Score: 8/10
Opinion2 days ago
Mustafa Ali Should Be Thankful For KofiMania
Road To WrestleMania1 day ago
Rob: Was There A Better Way?
Opinion2 days ago
The Miz: WWE’s Newest Babyface Wins Fans Over
News2 days ago
Chairshot Wrestling News Shuffle: Jim Ross and AEW, Dana Warrior and WWE creative, and changes to a WreslteMania Match? (3/22/19)